Integrating IBM Cognos TM1 with Oracle General Ledger

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1 Integrating IBM Cognos TM1 with Oracle General Ledger Highlights Streamlines the data integration process for fast and precise data loads. Enables planners to drill back into transactional data for the most recent changes. Combines the control of Oracle General Ledger with the flexibility and ease of use of IBM Cognos TM1. Loads data into a single IBM Cognos TM1 database for planning and analytics not an interim holding database. Extends and complements transactional operations performed by ERP solutions such as Oracle General Ledger and other financial/operational systems and data sources. Overview IBM Cognos TM1 integrates with all your critical systems in a straightforward, easy-to-use approach, providing the dynamic planning, forecasting and reporting capabilities necessary for today s challenging business environment. You can leverage your investment not only in general ledger applications such as those from PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP, but also in HR, CRM and many other operational solutions, data warehouses, and spreadsheets, because Cognos TM1 easily connects, consolidates and shapes information from disparate systems. Integration capabilities of Cognos TM1 Thousands of leading organizations in industries such as banking, financial services, retail, insurance and health care, and in the public sector have entrusted critical planning, analytics and reporting tasks to the highly responsive Cognos TM1 solution and its integration capabilities: The data orchestration component of Cognos TM1 streamlines the data integration process, providing organizations with the ability to perform fast and precise data loads. An easy-to-use interface provides a complete set of functions to accommodate your data and metadata tasks. The data orchestration component is included in the Cognos TM1 license.

2 Worth noting: Data is loaded into a single database for planning and analytics activities no interim importing into a holding database for immediate availability to perform analysis, planning and reporting. A drill-through capability enables planners to drill back into the transactional data in the general ledger for the most recent changes. Cognos TM1 reduces planning cycles by as much as 75%, and reporting from days to minutes. Why a rapid-response enterprise-level planning and analysis solution? Financial and business managers today cannot function without better planning and analytics to manage their business performance. They want to view and analyze data with input from multiple constituents, model different scenarios, forecast variations in revenues and expenses, follow customer trends, uncover hidden cost drivers, assess risk, and respond to economic or competitive change whenever the need arises. Such abilities especially facile business modeling and high-participation operational planning typically lie beyond the reach of traditional general ledger systems within ERP solutions. This type of planning requires not only the historical financial (account/cost center) view of actuals data, but more importantly, the forward-looking, business views of data that include future organizational, customer and product perspectives along with the operational drivers that are not usually stored within the ERP package. And these views need to be available in a context tailored for different types of users. How Cognos TM1 complements your investment in Oracle General Ledger The combination of Oracle General Ledger, from the Oracle E-Business Suite, and Cognos TM1, provides the tight integration, rigidity and controls of the Oracle General Ledger with the ease of use, flexibility and forward looking views of Cognos TM1. Cognos TM1 provides organizations with on-demand ad hoc analytics, scenario modeling and collaborative planning and forecasting processes to extend and complement the transactional operations performed by their ERP solutions such as Oracle General Ledger as well as other financial and operational systems and data sources such as supplier networks or customer service. 2

3 The key performance management capabilities provided by the combination of Cognos TM1 and Oracle General Ledger include: Integration and data collection support. With a flexible, open solution, the planning team has tight integration with the controls of Oracle yet the flexibility, through Cognos TM1, to define pro forma hierarchies such as revenue and operating and headcount expenses, and to pull data definitions from the ERP system. Cognos TM1 provides visibility and control in the data collection process a welcome relief from doing planning, forecasting and business modeling with spreadsheets, which are always difficult to consolidate and provide no audit trail or workflow controls. Enterprise-wide participation. Precision and speed in planning with Cognos TM1 are strengthened by the fact that an organization can draw on the insights and expertise of a wide swath of contributors the front-line employees, managers, and directors who are closest to the actual operating activities of the business. By asking them to participate in planning and forecasting, the Finance team can obtain their buy-in as well as promote accountability throughout the organization by giving planners a larger role in setting targets and objectives. Flexible models, simple to complex. Companies can first build their budget model with the basics, using the aligned rules and dimensions in Cognos TM1, and generate a single view of the current general ledger based on their charts of accounts, including accounts payable and accounts receivable data or cost-center plans with their fixed and variable costs. Cognos TM1 also easily adapts to the organization s environment as the business grows and changes rather than forcing an enterprise into a solution that might not fit its business model. An organization can create its own business rules and structures and modify the model as its organization evolves in minutes or hours, not months. For those enterprises with highly complex business models, Cognos TM1 supports large, sophisticated models and data sets all while providing exceptionally fast performance. For example, in a healthcare organization, the pediatrics department and the outpatient medicine department may model resource requirements very differently from each other. The ability to quickly create flexible models that are specific to their key drivers, such as length of visit or the age mix of the patient population, is key. In fact, Cognos TM1 offers both the ability to model business scenarios as well as the link back to resource controls in Oracle General Ledger to complete the planning cycle. In addition to streamlining the process of gathering data from financial and non-financial applications, Cognos TM1 readily supports the following performance management applications and structures that are not naturally suited to Oracle E-Business functionality: 3

4 Time horizons extending beyond twelve months (supporting rolling forecasting) Allocations Models which require different dimensionality than that in the general ledger Models with a significant number of key drivers Operational rather than financially-focused models (which also require financial output) What-if scenarios to test business outcomes The ability to pull hierarchies and financial intelligence from the ERP system. Integration for timely corporate insight The integration between Cognos TM1 and Oracle General Ledger follows generally accepted leading practices in integrating systems through the use of exception and audit reports and automation. So that planning teams can load corporate and source data for analysis during key business cycles, without negatively affecting response levels, Cognos TM1 uses an intuitive interface in its data orchestration tool, IBM Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator. It combines data from multiple heterogeneous sources into a single, easy-to-use data source for planning and forecasting. The integration between IBM Cognos Planning and Oracle General Ledger can be defined to run on an automated schedule to ensure that master data and data changes made in Oracle General Ledger are automatically reflected in Cognos TM1. Within the integration component, users can also create their own processes to automate data importation, manage metadata and perform other tasks. Financial intelligence imported from the Oracle General Ledger database into IBM Cognos TM1 for viewing of account dimensions. 4

5 To import data efficiently, automated scheduling can be set up to include the following: Data flow for planning and reporting Flex Structures and Flex Value Sets for any set of books Hierarchies Account Attributes such as balance type and debit/credit flags Security Access Rights Currencies and Exchange Rates Period Structures Balances Budget Types (e.g., versions of budgets and forecasts) Single or multiple sets of books. In between forecasting or reporting periods, planners may need to access interim newly-updated data. For this just-in-time view, Cognos TM1 enables a user to drill through to that transactional detail in the interface to the ERP system. To manage errors and tolerance violations as they occur, users can take advantage of exception reporting. Similarly, net change reports provide information on changes made after the most recent synchronization between the two systems. The net change report also provides an audit log of all changes made in Oracle General Ledger since the start of the planning cycle. If Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator detects that a control feature has not been implemented, due to an error or inconsistency, synchronization is halted. Oracle General Ledger and Cognos TM1 Integration 1. IBM Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator, the integration component, is run on a frequent basis to ensure that general ledger database and Cognos TM1 data warehouse are consistent. Exception reports are generated. 2. Planning, modeling and target setting are performed in Cognos TM1. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence tools or Microsoft Excel can then be used to report on the Work in Progress (WIP) plans. 3. Reporting on the finalized plan, which may include variance reports comparing actuals against plans derived in Cognos TM1, can also be performed in Cognos TM1 using Excel or Cognos Business Intelligence. 5

6 Optionally, once the planning, modeling and target setting processes are completed within Cognos TM1, the data can be transferred via the ETL tool to the Oracle General Ledger import staging tables. Again, exception reports are available to detect any errors. Budget data can be fed to the general ledger for use by the General Ledger, Commitment Accounting and Purchasing modules. Additional Cognos TM1 capabilities for improved performance management Fast load/calculation times. Cognos TM1 features a 64-bit, in-memory multi-dimensional cube architecture. The online analytical processing (OLAP) engine at the core of Cognos TM1 yields excellent response times. With multiple memory-based cubes whose dimensions can be linked, data is more rapidly searched, modified and restructured than with a single-cube, disc-based structure. A planning team does not have to pre-calculate consolidations and obtain values before it views data nor does it need to invest in a large database and more hardware. Fast implementation. Cognos TM1 has a track record of rapid implementations, with the majority of projects going live within three months. Faster start times mean that a business achieves its business results faster and more thoroughly. Flexible data analysis. Cognos TM1 offers great flexibility for data analysis. The planning team can build dynamic personal scenarios (like sandboxes) and multidimensional models (applications) with minimal training and no IT assistance. By running special planning sessions with management, key thinkers in the enterprise can test numbers to build a set of best case through worst case scenarios, which may be a critical activity these days. Parallel interaction for greater scale. Cognos TM1 loads data quickly without interrupting processing requirements. Fast parallel data loads to a Cognos TM1 server means that users can not only read but also write back to the database and see the effects of their changes immediately and perform other simultaneous activities. Without requiring the typical data controls and staging processes, Cognos TM1 provides sub-second response times for hundreds of concurrent users, the on-demand response required for dynamic enterprise-wide business and operational performance management. Powerful, flexible user interfaces. Cognos TM1 also provides a common framework for understanding key driver data with tools and interfaces that users are familiar with, such as Microsoft Excel or the Web, to facilitate rapid planning and forecasting, as well as a contribution interface for easily managed participation. Cognos TM1 as data source for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence. Cognos TM1 shares the same information services as IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence and Cognos Business Intelligence V10.1. Link to external applications: Because Cognos TM1 is Cognos 10 ready, the solution can be linked to enterprise reporting, scorecarding and other desktop applications so users can work with familiar interfaces. 6

7 About IBM IBM software delivers actionable insights decision-makers need to achieve better business performance. IBM offers a comprehensive, unified portfolio of business intelligence, predictive and advanced analytics, financial performance and strategy management, governance, risk and compliance and analytic applications. With IBM software, companies can spot trends, patterns and anomalies, compare what if scenarios, predict potential threats and opportunities, identify and manage key business risks and plan, budget and forecast resources. With these deep analytic capabilities our customers around the world can better understand, anticipate and shape business outcomes. For more information For further information or to reach a representative please visit ibm.com/analytics. Request a call To request a call or to ask a question, go to ibm.com/ business-analytics/contactus. An IBM representative will respond to your enquiry within two business days. 7

8 Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Canada Ltd Riverside Drive Ottawa ON K1G 4K9 Canada Produced in Canada May 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos and Cognos TM1, Cognos TM1 Turbo Integrator, and Cognos Business Intelligence are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at Copyright and trademark information at References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. P26342 Please Recycle YTD03112-CAEN-00

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